Super Slater finishes season with a flourish

Ali Slater, far right, on the podium
Ali Slater, far right, on the podium

BOURNE teenager Ali Slater has brought the curtain down on his 2011 season with a series of phenomenal rides over the last eight days.

First he represented Great Britain in the Junior World Road Race Championships in Copenhagen where he raced to a creditable 72nd out of a field of 150 riders and then he recorded podium finishes at Manchester Velodrome.

Slater’s role in the Copenhagen race was to try and get in any early breaks, and if his team missed the break he had to chase to try and set up a sprint for the designated sprinters in his team.

With the race shown live on television, Slater was seen leading the peleton, chasing hard for long periods and although he would have liked to have finished higher, he played a part in helping two of his team place in the top 30.

After a couple of days to recover, Slater was at Manchester Velodrome to race in the national team pursuit with his Hargroves Racing Team, and also in the Madison race.

His team qualified second fastest for the team pursuit, with a time of 4mins 20secs for the 4km race. In the final, the team upped their game recording an even quicker 4:16 to take the title by 3.5 seconds, giving Slater his third national title of the year and his first at senior level.

A day later Slater was riding in the Madison, where he was partnered by Raleigh’s Sam Lowe.

Slater had not ridden this specialist type of race for two years and it was always going to be tough to follow up the previous day’s success, but the pair came third, only missing out on the silver medal by the narrowest of margins.

l BOURNE Wheelers’ youth team – the Bourne Bullets – dominated the second round of the Lincolnshire Cyclo-Cross League.

Racing at Spalding at the weekend, the Bullets who had missed the opening round due to a training session at Manchester the previous weekend, had sacrificed the luxury of a front row starting slot. However the club’s three leading riders, Tim James, Campbell Pollack and Sian Botteley, soon forged their way to the head of the 28 rider field.

As the soaring temperatures and technical course took their toll on the riders, with Campbell suffering more than most, it was Tim who surged ahead, building up an unassailable lead to take the chequered flag a full minute ahead of his nearest rival for his first ever victory.

Despite being under the weather, Sian kept the pressure up and was never overtaken in the girls race, finishing 30 seconds ahead of the second-placed girl.

Backing up Tim and Sian, with his best ever placing was Aaron Bateman in 8th. Dan Burton finished 12th, with Campbell gamely finishing in 15th.

In their first ever races Maddie Gammons and Joseph Collins came in 23rd and 24th places respectively.

In the U12s race, the Bullets fielded four young riders. Cameron Nielson was the highest finisher in 8th, with Dan Galpin next in 18th, Neve McDonnell 23rd and Alex Gammons 25th.

In the senior race Mark Botteley was the top finisher for the club in 16th place with Phil Galpin placing 41st.